The purpose of a catalytic converter for your vehicle’s exhaust system is to keep harmful gases from polluting the air. A catalytic converter does this by converting these gases into a relatively environmentally safe mixture, which is expelled into the air as you drive down the road. But because of where this device sits—underneath your car, between your engine and the exhaust muffler—it’s susceptible to overheating or damage from rouge debris kicking up. Thus, it is not uncommon for catalytic converters to fail.
To avoid needing automotive repair service in Madison, TN, here are some symptoms of a failing catalytic converter to watch for:
- Your vehicle is misfiring: Although a vehicle that is misfiring can be doing so due to a number of causes, most reasons can be traced back to an ignition system problem. When you turn the key in the ignition, a signal is sent through the system that it’s time to create a spark to ignite the fuel and air mixture inside the combustion chambers. If this mixture gets compromised, the catalytic converter—and other engine components—could overheat.
- Your car has become a gas guzzler: If you notice that a tank of gas is not getting you as far as it used to, your catalytic converter could take the blame. This is more obvious in larger vehicles, like SUVs, trucks and RVs. Since a decreased fuel economy is going to hit you in the wallet, and quickly, seek automotive repair service in Madison, TN as soon as possible.
- There is clear damage: Sometimes, you are aware that you ran over something or hit a heavy object that dragged under your vehicle. You may want to look at the underside of your car for damage to any parts, but stay safe while doing so. Cracks, splits, holes and big dents, as well as converters that are hanging broken from either the muffler or engine, are clear signs of damage that need immediate tending to.
- There’s an increase in emissions: Do you drive a gas guzzler or an older truck or SUV, or are you labeled as owning a high emissions vehicle? If so, rest assured the DMV will make sure to send you for a smog test every couple years. But you have to understand that a failing catalytic converter will spread chemical contaminants into the atmosphere, and besides, an improperly functioning converter can end up damaging your whole exhaust system. This can get very expensive, very quickly.
- You’ve noticed a decrease in performance: In converters that are failing, you will feel it in the exhaust system in the form of engine chugging, having difficulty getting up steep roads, weak power and the feeling that fuel is struggling to reach the engine.
Whether you sense there is something wrong or your vehicle is not passing the smog test, contact the team at Madison Muffler & Auto Repair so we can take a good look at your catalytic converter. Should you need automotive repair service in Madison, TN, we will work with you to make sure all repairs are done well and at the right price.